tv The War Room With Jennifer Granholm Current August 24, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
i'm jennifer grandholm tonight in "the war room," mitt romney shows he really does have a personality, after all. a bad one. mitt lets rip with a birther joke at a rally in michigan joining donald trump and joe arpaio, and paul ryan came back with this knee slapper. >> his name is mitt romney and he is going to be the next president of the united states of america. >> but is romney's one liner more than just a political joke telling a political joke? it's friday. it's "the war room," and we're going to tell you now. ♪
>> so mitt romney finally took the plunge today, and fully immersed himself in the nocuous waters of birtherism. take a listen. >> i love being home in this place where ann and i were raised, where both of us were born, ann was born at henry ford hospital, i was born at harper hospital. no one has ever asked to see my birth certificate they know this was the place we were born and raised. [ cheers ] >> the crowd goes wild and romney joins the ranks of the birthers. then romney sat down to defend
the line afterwards. >> this was a swipe at the president, and i wonder why you took it. >> no, no. there's no question about where he was born. he was born in the us. this was about us and coming home, and humor, we have got to have a little fun in the campaign as well. >> it was fun. silly me. you might believe him but here is why i think it is more strategy than comedy. these shock jocks ate it up with a spoon. >> mitt romney started cracking birther jokes on the campaign trail. [ laughter ] >> it shows he has a good sense of humor. it's funny. birther, birther, birther, why because the president wouldn't hand over his birth certificate?
>> right on! right on! right on! >> right on mitt, do what you think you need to do! feed the base, mitt they are hungry, waiting for scraps of red meat to fall down. rush limbaugh also said something today that actually made a tiny bit of sense. >> here is romney -- i'm convinced test-driving something. i think this line is a test drive. i'm going to tell you what -- i'm going to make a prediction for you. it's going to be fascinating to watch. the obama bashing at the republican convention is going to be delicious. it's going to be five-star restaurant type stuff. you are going to love it. you are going to eat it up. >> you are going to eat it up all of that red meat! but he is right.
we're likely to hear a lot more of that stuff at the convention. in fact seven birthers are scheduled to speak there. and mitt romney is suddenly trying to rebrand himself as one of those rabid right-wingers, and right now right-wingers are feasting on birtherism. only 55% of all americans think the president was born in this country. but just 31% of republicans believe he was born in america. what is going on? i mean that's just outrageous! and that's not just about birtherism, the strategy of mitt romney. mitt romney started his migration to the right when he picked paul ryan of course the budget-flashing
deficit-ex-ployeding extremist, and romney's campaign is now running untrue ads about welfare reform. another thinly veiled claim. those claims have gotten pants on fire ratings from polititfact. that's the fact checker. pants on fire. they are all lies. and the party platform serves up a lot more. the republican national committee yesterday approved self deportation as immigration policy. during the platform committee meeting, chris kobach said if you really want to create a job tomorrow, you can remove an illegal alien today. catchy. he also happens to be mitt
romney's advisor. >> these positions are consistent with the romney campaign. we are a party that recognizes that illegal means illegal. >> so much for the dream act. so why would romney do this? why wouldn't he try to appeal to the swing voters to the middle? maybe because he has already lost them. so a very interesting republican strategy takes shape. gin up the base and get them to the polls, and at the same time implement new voter suppression laws to keep the democratic base away. joining me now to discuss mitt's new-found birther strategy is brown university professor of africana studies tricia rose, and karl frisch joining us from washington, d.c.
thank you both for joining me inside "the war room." >> thanks for having me. >> great to be here. >> karl let me start with you, how politically risky are these comments and the strategy of just ginning up the republican base at the middle -- will that risk pay off? >> it's certainly strange. we started this republican primary process with donald trump as the front runner the polls, and no it seems he has possessed the body of mitt romney. but he is not going to suffer anything for doing this with independent voters and very few people will end up hearing about it at the end of the day, because the media is not going to try this around his neck like an albatross. this is not the first time the romney campaign has stepped into the birther nonsense. when they were having the conference with donald trump, his campaign released his birth
certificate as if to put a finger in the eye of common sense and rational political dialogue. so this is not the first time. he also said he wouldn't release his tax because his mormon church thinks it is private. i think he should tell that to his deceased father. >> well, it is an interesting week of strategy. just from a strategy perspective, tricia do you think the remarks with witnessed and what does it mean for right-wing voters and dent voters as a strategy? >> i agree with karl entirely. unfortunately the media and the public discussion isn't going to hold romney accountable for this kind of undermining of the democratic process, and i think that's really important. i mean -- the problem here is
that our conversation about racism has been reduced to a % discussion of overt hostile insult. rather than this kind of indirect association. so this is very much about who belongs, and who is allowed to be here and who is truly american, and they are defining that in a very racial way, and by defining whiteness, really as something that is really proper, when it's exclusionary. and i think independent voters and the public need to refuse this. i think unfortunately the polarized vicious red meat discussion that you played at the outset shows us that there really is a comfort with this kind of definition, and the polarization makes it harder for women voters to pull away or minority voters to pull away, so
the polarization works in mitt romney's favor, and what we have to ask people to do is pay very close at attention to the consequences. >> karl are there enough -- is there enough in the republican base to turn them out? if there enough there to make up the difference for having potentially offended some in the middle anyway? >> it's certainly a strategy. it's right to say that they are communicating with the dog whistle. think of mccain, the american president that americans can be proud of. what does that mean? it's a clear contrast. same thing with mitt romney talking about how barack obama doesn't understand america. i actually think that the reason that paul ryan was put on the ticket, the reason that he has not gone to the center to try to attract voters to help him win this thing is because coming out
of his olympic-sized gaffe summer, the bottom was falling out of his campaign, and he could not risk going into tampa, with you know, the base not being there for him anymore. so he is really trying to hold on to the base. and i can't think a way that he will be able toot track independents with this convention. can you think of anything less exciting than tampa, in august with mitt romney? >> shows you how insane the decision was at the top. and there is going to be a birther convention next to the republican convention. will that have some influence on the republican national committee and convention, and will the birther stuff actually come inside the arena? >> to me it's quite clear that
that is a fundamentally excited and generative part of the republican base. they keep wanting to keep them at bay because they don't want to lose all credibility with any kind of main stream citizens in the united states, but they are very powerful. and i think independents reasonable republicans and the vast majority of democrats, what we all have to really pay attention to is how important the unconscious is here. we're looking for overt racism and racial hatred that we are not paying attention to this kind of unconscious fear. people are feeling frightened that their jobs are falling out, and that fear can be attached very easily to these kinds of indirect types of statements that can spur some of that 18% that you referred to that might come out and can really fire up
a general sense of belonging, no matter that it is destroying potentially the most brilliant example of multi-racial democracy in the world, but i think we need to pay very close at attention to this. >> i agree. tricia rose thank you for joining me in "the war room." karl frisch you are going to stick around and talk about some medicare issues. plus call it fantasy football for political junkies, mtv is going to show us how they are getting into the campaign spirit. and later we'll meet the directors of the other war room. >> why can't we attack george bush why can't we talk about the political tactics in this country.
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of their reenvironment than under the current plan. that's the equivalent of two year's of groceries. when today 54 year olds reach 65, they are going to have to pay almost $65,000. and that is the average senior's entire life savings. and it gets worse, a 39 year old today will pay $216,000 more. that could buy a new house, plus all new furnishing, and finally, sorry kids a 29 year old today would pay $331,000 more under the romney/ryan plan. and of course that's just the cost of raising a child, and even before this new report came
out, the ryan medicare plan was not playing well in key states. according to the "new york times" cbs poll . . . so to discuss this i am joined by laura tyson current tv economic advisor and former chair of the u.s. council of economic advisors and joining us again from washington is democratic strategy and syndicated radio host, karl frisch. thanks for joining us and karl thanks for sticking around. so the numbers up there are mind blowing. why is it that people will pay so much more? >> several reasons. first of all, this is all predicated on we get rid of the affordable care act and every
single thing in costs and payments that they have put in. >> people think that obamacare costs so much more but they don't understand the measure -- >> it is slowing the rate of growth of healthcare spending through incentive structures which provide hospitals with incentive not to readmit patients -- >> so you get rid of that -- >> so cost of health will grow faster, number 1. number 2 then they take out the extension of preventative benefits that's in affordable care for the elderly, that hits the current 65 year old. they take out the extension of prescription are drugs for the elderly, and now let's go to the people who are younger who don't get into the romney/ryan plan
until 2022. what happens? we'll give you a subsidy. we'll get the subsidy only grow at a capped amount which is much less than anybody's prediction about the cost of getting insurance, so people will have to go out and compete with a little subsidy with the government, and buy insurance which become increasingly expensive. >> karl, you heard what laura said but the folks over on the other side of the aisle, was it part for them to make sure that they left out the current seniors? because apparently that's still going to cost a lot of money. >> right. and i love the easy response to that, which is if it's so good these changes, why not do it for everybody, and it's a bald-faced lie when they are out there saying they are not changing
anything for seniors. seniors will be paying far more for drugs. they are saving about $600 a year seniors, because he has closed the doughnut hole -- >> people don't know what the doughnut hole is. >> there was a prescription drug benefit given to seniors that didn't cover enough of the drugs, so seniors didn't have enough money to pay for it so a lot of seniors would get a prescription for a month and then spread it out which is not the way you are supposed to do it. so obama filled in that hole so now seniors can afford their drugs. >> okay. so when the ryan/romney team says we're not going to touch your current situation, that is a lie? >> it's a lie. >> all right. one more political question for karl it is politically wise to
make the romney/ryan plan a official part of the platform? >> they are kind of between a rock and a hard place. i have been looking at the platform that they put together. it is kind of the blueprint for the death of a political party. it pushes against the demographic changes happening in this country, and doesn't acknowledge that things are changing, so i suppose it helps with the rhetoric that they can say the party is united on this but over all it's a something that any democrat would be wise to pick up and use in their campaign across the country. >> all right. laura medicaid is another issue. medicaid serves people in nursing homes, children pregnant women. they say they are going to cut that too. >> yes. and part of the reason the 65
year old today is going to get hit is 9 million of those currently on medicare are also receiving benefits on medicaid. so those programs will be dramatically cut. >> by how much? >> by 2022 the amount being spent is going to be cut by more than a third. by 2030 it will be cut by 50%, so we are basically taking medicaid and in the next decade we are taking $800 billion out of medicaid. we're going to block grant it. the states can't make up the difference. the states will put it on the backs of the beneficiaries. these are people who will be 65 now and turning 65. so i asked the question, okay. $800 billion saved from medicaid, where is that money going?
>> tell me. >> it turns out that is about the amount of revenues needed to extend the bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 a year or more. so think of this as a trade off >> all right. everybody get that. you really want to cut $800 billion to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy. >> the benefits to the elderly to pay for the tax cuts for the rich. that is democratic strategy karl frisch and economist laura tyson. up next, to put it bluntly current tv's convention coverage is going to be unlike anything you have ever seen. you have got to stick around. it is so great. we'll give you a sneak preview right after the break. and later, we're going to get
the inside scoop on mtv's fantasy election. we'll be right back. ♪ entire social stratosphere including you. join in, tweet us, and you could be a part of our on-air and online coverage. brought to you by spiriva handihaler. if you have copd like i do you know how hard it can be to breathe and what that feels like. copd includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema. spiriva helps control my copd symptoms by keeping my airways open a full 24 hours. plus, it reduces copd flare-ups. spiriva is the only once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that does both. and it's steroid-free. spiriva does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms.
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>> i'm mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore! >> the republican national convention starts monday in tampa. thanks to current tv you won't have to shout out of a window to make your voice heard all you need is your twitter account and your tv tuned to current. come with us to preview the ground-breaking coverage of the political conventions. david is right in the guts of our technology-based effort as you can see. david welcome inside "the war room" again. >> thank you, jennifer. nice to see you. and i'm excited to see you here for the next couple of weeks. >> i know. tell us what it is going to look like. >> we're going to cover the conventions the way no one has
covered it before. let's go ahead and squeeze this back. on your screen you something sort of radically different for main stream television the right-hand side are real time twitter messages out in the universe right now. these are actual tweets happening as we speak right now. what we're doing is tapping into all of the twitter messages that are happening everywhere. we're working with a few companies that we're partnering with, and we're able to tune in on -- on really everything that is going on on twitter -- >> these are from the main stream media. >> yes but i can easily -- here in the control room i will be switching -- bernard let's switch to team romney when you can. you'll see in a moment governor, now we have team
romney. these people speak for the campaign, are a part of the campaign or represent the -- the romney group and you see these tweets are coming and we have divided up all of the topics that are out there on twitter into about 100 different buckets, and we can switch between them pretty seamlessly. bernard let's switch to team obama to give them equal time. and you recognize the names. you read the tweets. these are live tweets that are happening right now, and it's not just people that we recognize. really -- there are a lot of interesting capabilities that we have discovered. i think i have got swing states. the swing states are going to be the key to the election. wisconsin is a swing state, bernard, and transform it to when you can. we have -- we are actually able to geo locate or figure out where the tweets are coming from
for a lot of the messages. >> so -- so just to be clear, as somebody is giving a speech for example, you can flip to the swing state of wisconsin or ohio to get the on the ground pulse of what people are saying? >> exactly. and we have set it up to be able to get -- we have people there with you in "the war room" in san francisco, here in new york and in los angeles, all monitoring these twitter conversations, so i have the luxury of being able to pick what i think is the most appropriate conversation thread going on. let's go back to main stream media, because it's really interesting to me that we can listen in on all of the best journalists out there reporting and filing, and see what their description of the events are. >> the partisans, will we be able to get the tweets of
delegates on the floor of the convention? >> the answer to that is i believe yes. i have spoken with both parties. both parties digital teams are working to get us at current the list of delegates on the floor who are going to be tweeting. i expect that we'll get that and i'm really looking forward to that, so we can hear from a delegate from michigan as -- as governor romney comes out, or in the democratic convention the week after, and illinois or florida delegate as the president comes out in the stadium or mrs. obama comes out in the stadium as well. so i think we have opened up a whole other degree of information for the viewer that is really going to enhance our coverage. >> i see you have a button down there called trending. so for example, if somebody makes a really great quote or if there is an interesting development, you will be able
see what people are saying about it instantaneously. >> yes, we have reserved these buttons about conversations we don't yet know about it? and you will be able to visualize the buttons and the size and speed of which they are filling. there are 5,000 tweets per minute on this, or no tweets per minute on this. so we'll be able to follow the hottest topics that people are talking about across the country and the world. >> how does this convention fit into the history of coveraging elections? >> i think all of our colleagues are going to stick their toe into the water and have a tweet or ticker of tweets at the bottom. i don't think anybody is going to be doing this.
if you looked at for instance nbc's olympic coverage they had a giant screen and one tweet. and that is sort of useless. but i think this is an important evolutionary step in how tv and media, and the social word can combine to be much more effective. >> unbelievable. that's current tv's president david foreman right in the nucleus of where it is all happening. and coming up it has been 20 years since james carville and others helped get bill clinton in office. the directors of "the war room" are next! >> connecticut is fine. delaware is fine.
you have been taught to pull something special in my life? i'll never forget how it was done. thank you. [ applause ] >> can you believe that it has been almost 20 years since the seminal political documentary, the war room came out? back then i was just a part-time political junky with a full-time u.s. assistant attorney and i was totally fascinated by the movie, and the then unknown, george stephanopolous and james carville, little did i know that nearly two decades later i would have my own war room as a candidate, a governor and now this show inspired by that whole documentary. so i'm so thrilled to be able to
welcome the codirectors of the movie version of the war room into our war room, one d.a. pennebaker and chris hegedus come to us from new york city. thank you so much for joining us inside "the war room." >> glad to be in your "war room." >> yeah. well glad to have you here. i have heard you say you could never make a movie like this today. why? >> well, you know, i say that just because i would be -- i would be very hesitant to take one on, but it depends on the people involved. i think that you could -- the problem in a way that's different is the cell phone, and people with cell phones -- that's their office and they are always in it and you -- you -- to do a really, i think, a useful film about people, you have to have -- you
have to have quiet time time alone with them someplace or another, and you need that to out the film, and if you don't have that, you have kind of a -- it's front porch politics. >> that's fascinating especially in an era of reality tv. chris of all of the democratic candidates running for president in 1992 you guys chose bill clinton. why? >> it kind of chose us in a sense. we tried to get access to the other candidates, and of course the bush campaign wouldn't let us into the white house as kind of independent filmmakers, and the perot campaign continued to deny he was running at the time. and in some ways we were relegated to the clinton campaign and the war room because that was all we could
get into. clinton had a photographer and newspaper reporter following him around, so we had very little access, but we were told that we could hang out with the war room staff, which was really the booby prize at the time especially if clinton would have lost. >> right. d.a were there any moments left on the cutting room floor that you wished you had kept in. >> i was trying to think of some. did we think of any? i couldn't. >> we shot in film so every -- >> we used every frame. >> every frame was precious to us, but in the last election 2008 we went back to james and mary and tried to get the inside story about their relationship and that was really fascinating. >> i bet it was. >> the two of them were sitting
in opposites side of the living room, each telling their side of the story. it was kind of marvellous because -- they are so totally a couple, and they have these marvellous children, it's hard to believe they were on opposite sides of the war. >> i totally agree. i want to play another clip from the movie. this is when ross perot temporarily suspended his campaign. take a listen. >> i concluded that we cannot win in november -- >> perot just pulled out. >> out. >> unbelievable. >> any time a political agenda breaks like this -- people are going to see bill clinton step into the vacuum. >> there are only two candidates left in the race people will tune in tonight hear what bill clinton has to say. >> why is that scene one of your
favorites? >> well it was a moment where clinton had been coming in third behind perot and george bush and perot dropped out of the race right in the middle of the convention, and everybody went wild and was wondering what to do, and clinton went from being someone who was a no one to someone who could be the next president, and the way that everybody reacted to that and the way he reacted to that was amazing. you saw that moment where that really hand. >> when he took command of the ship, yeah. >> when you first started this movie could you imagine spending so much time on james carville and george stephanopolous, and are you surprised they went on to become these big media stars? >> yeah, i guess i am. although, when you are with
people -- we were like a basketball team, you know, and by chance we won the state championship that year so forever after, you know, they are your buddies, and the fact that they also become people of great renown is kind of almost -- it's almost an added thing -- you hardly notice it, really. >> all right. we have just a real brief time. i'm going to play another quick clip, this is george stephanopolous speaking with bill clinton after he won the presidency. >> say what you want to say. this is your night. okay. we'll see you in a little bit. bye-bye. [ laughter ] >> he is asking me -- i think we got nevada. >> i totally move that. another favorite moment of yours? >> yeah. >> yes definitely a favorite moment. it was a moment where -- a very
private moment with george and clinton and george thanks him and tells him it is the best thing he ever did. and the president is still worried about whether he got nevada. >> fascinating. and forall of your political junkies out there you have to see the original war room. thank you so much for joining us. >> try to pay for it though if you can. >> yes. war room producers, d.a. pennebaker and chris hegedus. thanks so much. next how is mtv going from rocking the vote to gaming the vote?
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question-and-answer session went a little bit off track. take a listen. >> the world is dying to know, is it boxers or briefs? [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> usually briefs. [ laughter ] >> that's so embarrassing. in the 2012 election cycle, we have seen the obama campaign actively pursue mtv's young audience, and in june they featured this ad. but now it's mtv that is turning the table on politicians. onning monday mtv will launch it's brand new fantasy elections game. joining me from new york to explain this, and how mtv hopes it will increase voter participation, is the network's senior vice president, jason
rzepka. he is spear heading the political outreach "power of 12 campaign." jason, welcome inside "the war room." >> governor thank you for having me. >> you bet. i'm excited to hear about this. first off, why choose an online fantasy game to engage younger voters? >> well, we think that it is a pioneers new way to engage our audience. we feel that putting a game layer on top of the election and game-fying civic engagement and game-fying accountability will be a knew way to empower our audience. >> so how does this game work? do the players draft candidates like a fantasy sports game? >> they do. it leverages the best about what people love about sports. but you are drafting candidates
and instead of rewarding points for touchdowns we reward honesty and deduct points for incivility. >> so they actually -- i understand do earn and lose points by doing well in their five categories. you mentioned a couple transparency honesty, engagement, and civility. why did you pick those categories? would it be more real world to be fund-raising and attack-ad category? >> we see an opportunity with this game to -- to give young people a new way to hold condition dates accountable, because our audience has become quite disgusted with our politics and the way they work and they see it playing out in congress where we have a hard time getting anything done so we had a fork in the road and a
decision to make for saying are we going to give points for how much money they raised last quarter or how transparent they were in their fund-raising. and this is something that our audience is displeased with our politics and the way they work so if we can bring greater visibility to those candidates who are being honest and engaging the constituents that they are setting out to represent, and being transparent in their dealings we can celebrate those candidates and penalize those who aren't. >> i love it. you want to call us to a higher place. and a player can drop somebody like todd akin from the fantasy world, do you think any candidates will check in to see how their stock is doing? >> i think they will.
what we're saying to our audience is you have the power to add and drop candidates in this game just like you do in the real world. and you can drop them for real on november 6th on election day, and through some of our engagements with folks on the hill, i presented this conference to a group of about 50 press secretaries at mtv this year, and when we finished you would hear a pin drop on the floor. because we're bringing this information to light in a pretty prominent way. we have had conversations with folks on the gop and democratic side, and they are really excited about it. i think they feel it is going to be a fun new way to help the election, and if this helps bring young people into the process it will be a great
thing. >> absolutely. and are complains themselves able to communicate with the players? >> it's not really built to be a mechanism for candidates to engage with our players, but there are a ton of great tools that enable that already. young people can connect with candidates on facebook and twitter, and four square, and we bring all of those platforms into a single feed so we can help establish that engagement. >> very interesting. well, i really appreciate you coming in to describe it for us. that's mtv's senior president jason rzepka. what i really appreciate is trying to get people engaged at all ages. and i'll give you a couple of quick thoughts as we head into the convention right after the break. ♪
♪ all right political junkies time for the conventions. we give you a quick peek of what current is doing with our coverage, and it is so cool. and what i'm going to be looking for on the republican side. i really do want to listen to see whether those dog whistles continue. whether there is a continuous move to the right to try to gin that up base as opposed to reach out to the middle. i know the republicans are bathe
the convention stage in warmth. they are going to try to reintroduce mitt romney as a nice guy, and that's what they should do, it's their convention, but listen for the sub text. and as for the democrats, i hope they are able to portray a positive vision going forward. i want to come away inspired and know specifically what the president thinks a next four-year term is going to look like, as he begins to roll out the plan for governance. that will provide a tremendous contrast between the two platforms. thank you so much for joining us here in "the war room." make sure you tune in to this prime time coverage of the republican national convention starting on monk. don't forget to remember to send us our tchotchkes and swag to help us decorate our